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The joy unequall'd, if its end it gain,
And if it lofe, attended with no pain:
Without fatiety, tho' e'er fo blefs'd,
And but more relish'd as the more diftrefs'd:
The broadeft mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Lefs pleafing far than Virtue's very tears:
Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd,
For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;
Never elated, while one man's opprefs'd;
Never dejected, while another's bless'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more Virtue, is to gain.
See the fole blifs Heav'n could on all bestow!
Which who but feels can tafte, but thinks can know:
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad muft mifs; the good, untaught, will find;
Slave to no fect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro' Nature, up to Nature's God;
Purfues that Chain which links th' immenfe defign,
Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine;
Sees, that no Being any blifs can know,
But touches fome above, and fome below;
Learns, from this union of the rifing Whole,
The first, laft purpofe of the human foul;
And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began,
All end, in LoVE OF GOD, and LOVE OF MAN.
For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens ftill, and opens on his foul;
'Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd,
It pours the blifs that fills up all the mind.
He fees, why Nature plants in Man alone
Hope of known blifs, and Faith in blifs unknown:
(Nature, whofe dictates to no other kind
Are given in vain, but what they feek they find)
Wife is her prefent; fhe connects in this
His greatest Virtue with his greatest Bliss;
At once his own bright prospect to be bleft,
And strongest motive to affift the reft.
Self-love thus pufh'd to focial, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbour's bleffing thine.
Is this too little for the boundless heart?
Extend it, let thy enemies have part:
Grafp the whole worlds of Reason, Life, and Senfe,
In one close fyftem of Benevolence:
Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,
And height of Bliss but height of Charity.
God loves from Whole to Parts: But human foul
Muft rife from Individual to the Whole.
Self-love but ferves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble ftirs the peaceful lake ;
The centre mov'd, a circle strait fucceeds,
Another ftill, and ftill another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbour, firft it will embrace;
His country next; and next all human race;
Wide and more wide, th' o'erflowings of the mind
Take ev'ry creature in of ev'ry kind;
Earth fmiles around, with boundless bounty bleft,
And Heav'n beholds its image in his breast.
MANY by Numbers judge a Poet's fong ;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong; In the bright Muse tho' thousand charms confpire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire; Who haunt Parnaffus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to Church repair Not for the doctrine, but the music there. Thefe equal fyllables alone require, Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire ; While expletives their feeble aid do join; And ten low words oft creep in one dull line : While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes, With fure returns of ftill expected rhimes; Where'er you find " the cooling western breeze," In the next line, it" whifpers thro' the trees :' If cryftal ftreams "with pleafing murmurs creep," The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with " fleep :" Then, at the laft and only couplet fraught
With fome unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needlefs Alexandrine ends the song,
That, like a wounded snake, drags its flow length along.
Leave fuch to tune their own dull rhimes, and know
What's roundly fmooth, or languishingly flow;
And praise the eafy vigour of a line,
Where Denham's ftrength, and Waller's fweetnefs join:
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As thofe move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
'Tis not enough no harfhnefs gives offence,
The found must seem an echo to the fense:
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth ftream in fmoother numbers flows;
But when loud furges lafh the founding fhore,
The hoarfe, rough verse should like the torrent roar:
When Ajax ftrives fome rock's vaft weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow;
Not fo, when swift Camilla fcours the plain,
Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and fkims along the main. Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprise,
And bid alternate paffions fall and rife!
While, at each change, the fon of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now fighs fteal out, and tears begin to flow:
Perfians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the World's victor stood fubdued by Sound!
WOW to live happieft; how avoid the pains,
The disappointments, and disgusts of those
Who would in pleasure all their hours employ ;
The precepts here of a divine old man
I could recite. Tho' old, he still retain'd
His manly fenfe, and energy of mind.
Virtuous and wife he was, but not severe ;
He still remember'd that he once was young;
His eafy prefence check'd no decent joy.
Him even the diffolute admir'd; for he
A graceful loofenefs when he pleas'd put on,
And laughing could inftruct. Much had he read,
Much more had feen; he studied from the life,
And in th' original perus'd mankind.
Vers'd in the woes and vanities of life,
He pitied man: and much he pitied thofe
Whom falfely-fmiling fate has curs'd with means.
To diffipate their days in queft of joy.
Our aim is Happinefs; 'tis your's, 'tis mine,
He faid, 'tis the pursuit of all that live;
Yet few attain it, if 'twas e'er attain'd.
But they the wideft wander from the mark,
Who thro' the flow'ry paths of faunt'ring Joy'
Seek this coy Goddefs; that from ftage to ftage
Invites us ftill, but fhifts as we purfue.
For, not to name the pains that pleasure brings!
To counterpoife itself, relentless Fate
Forbids that we thro' gay voluptuous wilds
Should ever roam : And were the Fates more kind,
Our narrow luxuries would foon be ftale.
Were thefe exhauftlefs, Nature would grow fick,
And cloy'd with pleafure, fqueamishly complain
That all was vanity, and life a dream.
Let nature reft; Be bufy for yourself,
And for your friend; be bufy even in vain,
Rather than teize her fated appetites.
Who never fafts, no banquet e'er enjoys;
Who never toils or watches, never fleeps.
Let nature reft: And when the taste of joy
Grows keen, indulge; but fhun fatiety.
'Tis not for mortals always to be bleft.